SKYHAWK BASEBALL TRAVELS TO BLUEGRASS STATE FOR PIVOTAL SERIES AGAINST EKU
March 30, 2017
Friday: Live Stats
Saturday: Live Stats
Sunday: Live Stats
MARTIN, Tenn. – With critical positioning in the Ohio Valley Conference standings at stake, the University of Tennessee at Martin baseball team will head to the Bluegrass State to take on conference foe Eastern Kentucky in a crucial three-game series. First pitch on Friday night from Turkey Hughes Field in Richmond, Ky. is scheduled for 5 p.m., while Saturday’s contest is set to begin at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s matchup will start at 12 p.m.
The Colonels (14-12, 1-5) have enjoyed success in the overall series with a record of 48-21 against the Skyhawks, including taking four of the last six contests. However, UT Martin (9-12, 1-8) produced their biggest offensive outburst of 2016 with a 20-6 thrashing of Eastern Kentucky in game one of the series between the programs last season. Ryan Helgren tallied a two-run bomb in the contest, while Josh Hauser posted a 3-5 performance. Dan Kerwin crossed the plate three times in the win for the Skyhawks.
Freshman have made an impact all over the Skyhawk lineup of late. Anthony Adduci is in the midst of the longest hitting streak of the season for any UT Martin player, as the St. Charles, Ill. native has recorded a hit in 10 consecutive contests. Fellow freshman Connor Aube has been the squad’s most consistent performer at the plate during OVC play, racking up an average of .351 while leading the team in runs scored with eight.
The Skyhawk pitching staff comes into this weekend’s series ranked as the 21st staff in the country in strikeouts per nine innings (9.7). Redshirt-junior Dalton Westfall has recorded a league-leading 49 punch outs en route to a 3-2 record on the season. Peyton Cain (0-1, 4.88 ERA) has been a solid contributor both out of the bullpen and more recently in the starting rotation for UT Martin, as the East Central CC transfer has struck out 20 batters on the year.
Eastern Kentucky is led by senior first baseman Ben Fisher who has put up impressive numbers through 26 games, including nailing 13 homers and driving in 42 runs in the young season. Fisher was named the OVC Player of the Week on March 20 and ranks in the top-20 nationally in home runs (first), RBI’s (first), runs scored (first), total bases (first), slugging percentage (second), hits per game (16th) and batting average (18th).
The Colonels are expected to send out their ace Jack Piekos (2-3, 3.67 ERA) on Friday, Aaron Ochsenbein (1-3, 8.61 ERA) on Saturday and Eric Nerl (0-1, 13.50 ERA) on Sunday.